SANFORD, Fla. - A 29-year-old man accused of killing his parents and brother in Chuluota in January was denied bond Wednesday after trying to convince a Seminole County judge to set him free.
Grant Amato faces three counts of first-degree murder and is expected to enter a plea Wednesday.
Amato's lawyer told News 6 shortly after his client's arrest that there wasn't sufficient forensic evidence to hold Amato in jail.
A notice of intent to seek the death penalty was filed against Amato last month.
Records show Amato had argued with his family in the days leading up to the triple slaying because he stole $200,000 to wire to a woman in Bulgaria whom he met on a porn site. Amato claimed he had a relationship with the woman.
Amato's surviving brothe, Jason Amato, testified during the bond hearing. Prosecutors played a video of the encounter the brothers had after Grant Amato was taken into custody. News 6 is reviewing that video.
Jason Amato asked his brother if he had any role in his family's death. The accused killer replied, "No."
“I will pray for you brother because I can’t pray for mom, dad and Cody anymore," Jason said at the end of the video.
After a short recess the judge denied Grant Amato's request. The judge said the fact that Amato is computer savy and has been able to access bank accounts to steal money in the past factored into the decision.
Amato entered a not guilty plea to all three first-degree murder charges during his arraignment after the bond hearing.
Grant Amato just entered the courtroom. He’s accused of killing three of his own family members in January in Seminole County.
He will try to convince a judge to set him free until his trial.
Hearing will begin in just a few minutes. @news6wkmg pic.twitter.com/uSAkcHIQXH — Ezzy Castro (@EzzyCastro) March 27, 2019
We just finished watching recording. Jason Amato gave his brother a hug at the end and said “I will pray for you brother because I can’t pray for mom, dad, and Cody anymore.” @news6wkmg pic.twitter.com/Tj15pEYoce — Ezzy Castro (@EzzyCastro) March 27, 2019
Judge has ordered a recess to review a 34-page document for now. @news6wkmg
Jason Amato was asked to step down after testifying as a witness. @news6wkmg pic.twitter.com/Jl5kNSUAfK — Ezzy Castro (@EzzyCastro) March 27, 2019
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